Blue Tier Giants

Tasmania Take 2 Tour: Day 24

Saturday January 27, 2019

It was such a beautiful quite night that we decided to stay another night even before our first night was over. So this morning we both enjoyed a late sleepin…..listening to wind whistling through the tops of the trees surrounding the camp and the sound of birds singing. Birdsong is like another language that goes on around you and only very few people are in tune to the meaning. It was a beautiful and slow start to the day.

It was overcast with a cool wind as we drove a little to the south of Weldborough to hike through a section of the Blue Tier cool temperate or sub-alpine rainforest, home to the tallest flowering trees in the world, the Swamp gums (Eucalyptus regnans). This walk boasts a specimen of Swamp gum which has the widest girth of any tree in the world measured at 19.5m at its base.

During the 1800’s tin was discovered in the Blue Tier area. Forests were cleared to create mines and housing. Clearing for agricultural purposes soon followed. While mining ceased in the early 1900’s agricultural land- use still continues. Weldborough was a much larger village at the height of the mining period. It boasted a large population which included over a 1000 Chinese miners. Today Weldborough is no more then a pub and a handful of houses. The drive south from Weldborough was along a windy road passing pasture fields dotted with bales of rolled hay. We rurned off the main road and followed a dirt road for a short while before reaching the start of the walk.

Stepping into the forest was a most magical experience. Towering tall gums with a dense understory of fern trees created another wordly look that was in stark contrast to the yellow coloured pastures we passed earlier. We felt quite privileged to be able to be here all alone experiencing this incredibly old landscape. The big girth of the Swamp gums was something else to behold. One of the trees, given the name The Cradle Tree by the locals, truly does provide a cradle at its base. It felt quite special to sit in its base feeling quite protected by this giant of the forest.

A bit further along we came to the Blue Tier Giant tree. It was hollowed out in the middle and its size made it hard to comprehend that it was just one tree. We spent a couple of hours walking through this lush forest of giants.

On the way back to Weldborough we stopped for another short walk through a segment of Myrtle rainforest. This was another surreal experience of driving through pasture fields and from that view stepping into this incredible, lush rainforest. Incredibly tall trees with lots of epiphytic fern growth suggesting a very wet environment.

Feeling very protective about this environment. It is hard to believe that there is even a consideration of not protecting such a natural treasure.

In the afternoon we walked the Emu Rd which went by the hotel. It was the centre of Chinese mining community in the late 1800s. Today there is little evidence of the Chinese presence except for a footbridge out to where the joss house house once stood. Any remaining artefacts were taken to a museum in Launceston.

From Emu Rd we walked the Big Chook run, one of the mountain bike trails through the forest. The Blue Tier plataeu and the mountains surrounding the nearby town of Derby are home to hundreds of miles of mountain biking trails. Derby particularly is extremely well set up for mountain biking being the home of the Blue Derby MTB trail network.

Feeling very happy with such a stunning find we had dinner at the pub once more and retired to our tent very happy campers.